Monday, March 17, 2008

Vacation IMBY

(Okay, this is a long one. Remind me next time that "For crying out loud, blog vacation doesn't mean "pent-up blog fodder to justify novel-length post". There are pictures for a bit of reprieve...)

After looking at the various options for our March Break Vacation:
Mexico? No, Ian will get sick, guaranteed.
New York City? That would be great! Any hotels under $400 a night that can accomodate 4? We still have to deal with airfare ... ugh. No.
Miami, Florida? That's an idea, hey we've got friends going too. But wait, everything's booked, and what's available would cost, oh, maybe close to $7K including Air, but no food? Ugh, no.
Washington DC?- they've got a cool spy museum!!! I have no clue where to stay, and besides, no decent flights.

It's difficult to book a holiday and throw down all that cash when your partner's not around to consult. He trusts me, but still.

What we ultimately decided to do, and a lot had to do with the fact that hubs just got back from a long airplane ride anyway, was spend a few days downtown. Yes, book a hotel right across the street from the ROM and do some sightseeing in the city. My inner self was screaming "Hotel with pool, hotel with pool" while my other inner self was siding with hubs that we wanted to AVOID the screaming pool, and try to have somewhat of an adult break for ourselves too.

So that is what we did.

We stayed at the Park Hyatt, known for its Stillwater Spa. Situated in the chi-chi Yorkville area, no pool, but across the street from the ROM. And despite the fact that I forgot my swimsuit (gee, how convenient to have to throw some shopping into the itinerary) I managed to squeeze a massage into our schedule. I need to do that more often.

The kids weren't complaining initially...

The first night we took them to the restaurant Sotto Sotto, a little place on Avenue road that is a favourite of the Hollywood set. Their wall of fame had so many celebrities on it, I wouldn't know where to start. Who hasn't been there? We asked G to use her quiet voice, but during the dinner, because of the low ceilings, it got fairly loud, so much so that she screamed "Why is everyone so loud", and no one even noticed. The staff were fantastic with the kids, cooking up some great pasta for our boy, while the girlie just sat and coloured her book. I was star-searching but was out of luck. However, the meal was everything I had expected it to be, excellent Italian cuisine.

The next day we took the kids to the ROM. After its recent renovation, we were anxious to see what it was like inside. It was busy, we're talking a line-up around the block busy at 11 AM. We fell into the marketing trap and bought a family membership so we could squeeze in through an alternate entrance. But you get your money's worth in two visits, so it was a no-brainer.

We were mightily impressed with the Darwin exhibit and will have to visit again.

For dinner that night we were initially thinking Hemingway's (I think there were a few Colin Farrell sightings there) but it is a lot more of a pickup joint on a Friday night than mid-weekend brunch. I saw free internet there, but stayed away. Aren't I good?

We opted for Remys, a place I used to go as a younger partyer, but now was quite family friendly. Our waiter commented on the girlie's backpack (Teletubby) and asked if she knew of the NEW guys. Of course she did; she was the most impressed.

The one thing we the parents, were most enjoying was that we could WALK everywhere. And the one thing the kid (ie. older one) was NOT enjoying... was the fact that we could walk everywhere. We forgot the stroller, so little G was feeling very grown up and loving the promenading with Daddy. Our strapping lad was asking for the "are we there yet" update every 30 seconds.

With that in mind, we decided to take the kids down to the Distillery District the following day (yes, we're gluttons for whining punishment). Check this out...

Look again, yes that is a BIKE buried in that snow!

We just love the old buildings and the cobblestone roads. They've done a fantastic job of making great use of a historic site. There are so many galleries, shops, little restaurants. The kids didn't want any of it (why do they want ice-cream on this cold winter day?) but did agree to pop into the Fluid Living furniture shop so they could try out the handmade Hastens beds showcased so invitingly. At about $69,000 Cdn per King size, they're a steal, don't you think? Liam announced that he wanted one...maybe if the tooth fairy drops off about a million under his pillow next time, we might consider.

While there we managed to pick up some chairs for our kitchen ... we are now about 95% done that reno now!!! Just need a light fixture as we've grown a bit tired of this avant garde look:

On our last night, we thought we would go somewhere kid-friendly and found the neighbourhood Gabby's. As we were seated, G got a bit "creeped out" and asked who "that guy" was. She pointed up toward the television and guess who was peeking down at her ...

He freaked her out so much that she had to switch places for dinner. But on a positive note, we wicked parents used the threat of Elvis to cajole her into eating her dinner. Thank you, thank you very much.

Even though we were only thirty minutes from home, the kids were anxious to get back to their abode in the morning. So despite the fact that the St. Patty's day parade was about to start just around the corner, we left the city. My kids probably wouldn't appreciate the green beer that I was contemplating for myself later on, anyway.

The one thing about taking a holiday with the kids, is that it's guaranteed to make you want to take another one without them. Although we each got alone time with the kids while the other had REAL alone time, we had ZERO time together as a couple. Too exhausted to do much other than sleep.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. They are the joy of my life. In fact, I live and breathe them. And I suppose herein lies the dilemma.

I think we'll be booking our anniversary weekend trip a couple months early.


Melissa said...

Looks like you had a blast!

We just planned a grown-up trip for June. Can't wait! :)

Kami said...

Looks like so much fun! I know what you mean though, even though our Bahamas getaway was fantastic, I am secretly dreaming of renewont our vows, SANS kids, next January on a beach somewhere in the Carribean.

Problem is, the bank account does not share my dream.


Welcome home!

Groovy Mom said...

That stillwater spa looks divine! Kids are great, but time alone once in a while, just being a couple is essential.

C said...

That is soooooooo cool! Looks like you guys had a great time!!!

Well, I'm back! A week in the Dominican Republic and a few days in K-town (and a day and a half in T.O.) = LOTS of catching up to do on my fave blogs!!!

Life As I Know It said...

Looks like fun!
Couples only vacations are nice too, though!

Kellan said...

Thank you - thank you very much - you are so funny!! That looks like it was a fabulous vacation - fabulous. I'm glad you stayed close to home and still had SUCH a good time - way to go.

Have a good WEdnesday - see ya. Kellan

dkuroiwa said...

Now that...was a good vacation!! (even with a bit of whining and loud voices!!)
Sometimes the best holidays are those spent close to home!!
Glad you're back!!

BeachMama said...

What a fantastic idea. I know a few people who have done this. I have not. I would be the one booking a place with a pool though. I really really would love to go to a spa and that Stillwater one looks like it would be so awesome. I think I am overdue.

Glad you had a mini-break.

Don Mills Diva said...

Sounds like a great time. My friend is the manager at Hemmingway's - we go a fair bit...

Badness Jones said...

Sounds like a great holiday - proof you don't have to go far to get away. You just have to leave the house - the phone, the computer, the cleaning, the projects....but a holiday without kids? Sign me up.

Meg said...

Looks like you had fun! Grown up mom and dad vacations are the best though...we all need to re-connect.

Have a great day!


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